The Blog Squad

Friday, September 02, 2005

Why I can't stop thinking about Baton Rouge

Katrina has us all thinking about New Orleans, a great American city obliterated just like that. Yet today my mind keeps drifting to Baton Rouge. Reports say that the state capital, about 70 miles west of New Orleans, with a population of about 400,000, may double in population. Instantly and permanently. Baton Rouge City Councilman Mike Walker said this, and I found myself dazed and suddenly heartbroken for a place I have never laid eyes on: "The Baton Rouge we live in and grew up in is no longer. These people are here to stay, perhaps forever." I guess in that instant I supplanted the word Richmond, wondering what it would be like for external forces beyond anyone's control to just transform —- no, metamorphose —- or maybe even transmogrify? — your home. For your city to change overnight, just like that. But then it begged a larger question, one that maybe you all would care to weigh in on. Would we want that transformation even over a decade, or two? Do we ever want to be double our size?


At Fri Sep 02, 01:44:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 03, 07:26:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, like you, can't stop thinking about all of the people in the Gulf Coast region. I worked at a Red Cross call center yesterday. It was heartening to see how many people are trying to help in whatever way they can.

I think your question about the Richmond area's future growth is one that area leaders and residents should consider carefully and often. Some level of growth is needed, but not continuous rapid sprawl.


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